Duncan Sidney Alexander McFARLANE


Guernsey Number: 27,23,21
Career: 1939; 1944 to 1945
NFC Games: 10
NFC Goals: 0
Debut: v South Adelaide (Adelaide) 22nd April 1939
Finale: v West Adelaide (Kensington) 25th August 1945


Wartime competition 1942-1944
Norwood-North games: 5
Norwood-North goals: 0

Duncan McFarlane was born on the 6th August 1920 in Jamestown and was a local junior who captained Norwood Colts in 1937.

In 1939 he played as a key defender in the trials and was chosen as 19th man for the league side in round one. 

Following that he played four games at centre half back for the seconds. Excellent form saw him promoted to the league side against Port Adelaide on July 8th. He was named in the best players and retained that position for the remainder of the season. This included the semi-final against West Torrens which was lost by four points where his performance was described as solid and dependable.

As was the case for many others the onset of World War II brought Duncan’s promising career to an abrupt halt and in 1940 he enlisted in the A.I.F. without playing a game. At the Annual General Meeting in February 1940, he had received the best junior award and in May 1940 enlisted in the 2/27th  Battalion. He served in the Middle East, reaching the rank of Lieutenant, before being discharged in October 1941. 

By late 1944 Duncan was home and made himself available for Norwood-North in the wartime competition. His first game was in early August, in time for the finals. He played in just five games which included the grand final victory over Port-Torrens.

In 1945 Duncan moved to the south east of the State but he continued to train and Norwood kept in touch. He was eventually brought back for the final minor round game against West Adelaide. For Norwood to make the finals it was a must win game and McFarlane was chosen on a half back flank. Norwood won by 55 points but Duncan was injured and was unavailable for the semi-final against Port which was lost by Norwood 16.14 to 13.8. Duncan subsequently retired.

By the end of 1939 Duncan was the incumbent centre half back and receiving high praise for his efforts. The intervention of war and not playing for four years made a comeback extremely challenging.

B Ridge June 2022

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